Pictures of Enzo's Memorial Service

On October 6, 2010, 6-month old Enzo was in a car accident with his parents and older brother and sister. Almost 48 hours later, he went home to be with Jesus. This blog is run by his family members and is our way of sharing our grief and hope with everyone who cares to visit. We rejoice in knowing that one day we will be reunited with Enzo in eternity! If you would like to contact us, you can email us at (not case-sensitive).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The story behind "Zo's sunset"

Zo’s Sunset

Recently at the Women of Faith Conference in Denver I attended, Sheila Walsh said something that struck me significantly at the time and now I shall never forget. She said “When God interrupts your schedule, PAY ATTENTION, because He is going to do something.” In the two weeks that followed, I found this to be true in small ways in my everyday life when God’s plans were not my plans for a day.

However, this became a striking reality in my life last week. At the time of the accident, my husband was in Africa for his job with Compassion International. So my best friend Michelle packed us up in my van, and we began the 1400 mile trek up to the Seattle area.

The first night was endless. We drove through Wyoming in the pitch black of night. We encountered severe winds, thunderstorms, blinding rain and delays. At one point, we were even stopped on the freeway because I-80 had been temporarily closed. All I wanted to do was speed through Wyoming and this night, make some progress toward the northwest, but it was extremely slow going. It was dark, unfamiliar and scary – and it felt like we were NEVER going to get there. Additionally, my grief was beginning to settle hard on me this night. My soul felt despairing, very much like the road we were driving on. I am a rational person, but in my grief I really wondered if the sun was ever going to rise.

The next day was overcast and rainy as we made our way through Utah, Idaho and Oregon. This day, too, seemed endless. We must have looked at the clock thousands of times. It dragged on and on. We alternated between despair and hope as different reports came from my family throughout the day.

We got word that Snoqualmie Pass along I-90 had been closed the night before and was likely to be again that evening by the time we reached it. Not wanting to risk getting stuck on the highway for a second time, we made the decision to take the alternate route through Portland, Oregon. At first I was very upset that we had to take this route because it would add an extra hour onto our already endless journey. It was at this time that Michelle reminded me of the quote from Sheila Walsh – “When God interrupts your schedule, pay attention, because He is going to do something.” That was exactly what I needed to hear. I settled back into my seat and tried to trust that God knew what he was doing.

About 5:30 p.m. on that day, October 8, 2010, as we drove along the Columbia River Gorge, we got the phone call that Enzo’s body was beginning to shut down and he would probably pass away at anytime. A few minutes later, the sun came out from behind the clouds and shone brightly on us. And it was brilliant. It turned the brown hills into mounds of gold dust. It turned the river into a sea of shimmering glass. It shone it’s warmth on our faces. And Michelle commented that this was the first time on our entire trip the sun had come out.

At that time, peace washed over our souls. We felt that this was God’s spirit coming down to comfort us. Whereas our journey so far had been dark and treacherous and unknown, it was suddenly bright and peaceful. I took a picture of the sun in order to remember that moment. The time stamp on the pictures is 5:56 p.m. We did not know at the time that this was the exact moment Enzo’s body refused to take more air, and he was being placed in his mother’s arms for the last time on this earth. A short time later, the sun dropped back behind the clouds, never to reappear again on our trip.

Had God not interrupted our original route, we would not have seen this glorious sunset. Because the sun appeared to us at the exact time of Enzo’s homecoming, we are certain it was the Lord coming for Enzo. Jesus was bringing peace to our family and saying that we will survive… thrive… even without our precious Zo to share our lives. This picture became prominent over the next few days in our family. We used it as the main backdrop for the Memorial Service and titled it “Zo’s Sunset.”

Although grief is a long journey, I was also encouraged by the way God used my physical journey up to Seattle to mirror what grief feels like. There are times, like on the Wyoming Interstate  in the dead of night, which will be dark, full of despair and going nowhere (seemingly). There will be days we feel numb, cloudy and bland. Sometimes all we want to do is get through the darkness as fast as possible to get to the light at the end. But it takes time and it is not healthy to speed up the process. While stopped on I-80, I even told Michelle I just wanted to turn around, go home and wake up from this nightmare. But it was not to be done. We had to drive that lonely, dark stretch of road, just as we must walk through the grief in all it’s fear and darkness, to get where we are going.

But what awaits us at the end is the light. Oh so glorious in all its splendor and warmth. The light from Christ that gives us the hope that we will one day be with Enzo again – this time with no tears, no weeping, no sorrow – in a perfect place! That sunset made the entire trip before it worth it. (Not that I look forward to the darkness when I must walk it again!).

Psalm 23

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness, for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. "


  1. Beautiful picture and breath-taking story

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  3. BEAUTIFUL story, beautiful sunset, beautiful boy!!! I am from Bremerton but live in Colorado as well and I know the long drive home when you are just vacationing and cant imagine how it feels when you have a loved one in the hospital you are racing to see, this story will be on my mind as I make that trip to move home! Your family gives me such a new outlook on life:)

  4. Your story, from the beginning, has brought me to tears many times. First as anger and asking "why", second as despair and sadness for the loss of his life and now for joy. Your photo and story is deeply touching and I know at the moment the sun shown through, Zo went to be with the Lord. God bless you and your family. I live just a few miles from the accident scene and it could have been anyone at that corner. I have been there thousands of times. God was ready for Zo to come home.

  5. Sweet Auntie, our pastor calls that a God wink. God loves you so much to give you that beautiful display to share His hope with your whole family! Glory to God forever!

    With love,
    Mike and Sunny

  6. Dearest Melissa...God has gifted you in many ways, i am sure...but it is so VERY apparent He has made you a writing healer. I made up this term just now, but i know one when i read it! Its that kind of story that draws you in, is honest in approach...and then steals your heart and takes it somewhere completely different from its someone else's. Thank you for all your organizing, and writing...and beautiful pictures so those of us so far away physically can be "there" spiritually. Also, keep on writing. Deidra J and family